Event to urge action for orcas, climate

PORT ANGELES — Rise for Orcas and Climate Justice is set Sept. 8 to celebrate endangered southern resident orcas and rally for action for them with a picnic, speakers and children’s activities at Hollywood Beach.

The free daytime program hosted by Olympic Climate Action (OCA) will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Hollywood Beach and the Feiro Marine Life Center near the base of City Pier at the foot of Lincoln Street.

The free evening program will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center at 401 E. First St.

The picnic will be a bring-your-own affair, but a burn ban-exempt covered fire will be available and organizers will provide marshmallows, sticks for roasting them and ingredients for do-it-yourself s’mores, said Brian Grad of Sequim, OCA board member and event coordinator, in a news release.

Booths for children’s games and art will remain open through mid-afternoon. Activities will include Pass the Orca and Share Your Thoughts, storytelling, sidewalk art, tile art, picture coloring, 3-D puzzles, a singalong and an orca informational prize wheel.

Musicians will perform, Grad said, and people are encouraged to bring instruments and songs.

Following the picnic, participants on shore will join with kayakers in Port Angeles Harbor at noon for a brief vigil and invocation, then walk to the Feiro Marine Life Center to hear speakers, Grad said.

Starting at 1 p.m., the Feiro Center will host discussions about orcas, salmon, climate, energy options, and the continuing threat of Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal.

Speakers will include Ken Balcomb of The Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Eric de Place of Seattle’s Sightline Institute and Verner Wilson of Friends of The Earth.

Balcomb will dicuss the plight of orcas facing starvation from depleted salmon stocks and the proposed breaching of the lower Snake River dams in southeast Washington to boost salmon recovery.

Wilson and de Place will focus on fossil fuel export plans, describe threats to the Pacific Northwest, and talk about the “thin green line” of opposition to these proposals.

The evening program, co-hosted by Olympic Climate Action and the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center, will feature “The Road to Athabasca,” a multi-media, first-person account of a group bicycle ride along the path of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline, from Vancouver, B.C., north to the Alberta tar sands.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Heritage Center, 401 E. First St. Although admission is free, donations are encouraged to the Pull Together campaign to oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline.

To RSVP or more information, see tinyurl.com/PDN-orcaclimate, the group’s Facebook page or email Grad at brian [email protected]

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